March 30, 2006 4:54 PM PST

A free weekend of Xbox Live Gold

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Microsoft will offer free access to its Xbox Live Gold service from March 31 through April 2, the company said Thursday.

The company already offers full-time free access to a lower, silver level of its live service. Users there can create player profiles, maintain lists of friends, access the Xbox Live marketplace, play multiplayer online games, and send and receive voice and text messages.

Gold-level users, who usually pay $49.99 a year, get all those features, plus enhanced gamer feedback, better friends list management, access to more sophisticated online game play and more.

As part of the Free Xbox Live Gold Weekend, which is being sponsored by Verizon to promote that company's high-speed broadband connections, Xbox Live will host a series of special events, including the ability to play in certain games against celebrities, download special high-definition performances from musicians and more.

Consumers will also be able to play against Ubisoft's Frag Dolls professional video game team.

The free Xbox Live Gold offer is only available to Xbox 360 owners, though owners of both the original Xbox and the Xbox 360 can use Xbox Live.

See more CNET content tagged:
Xbox Live, Microsoft Xbox, online game, Xbox 360, games

2 comments

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Nice....
.... but I'm still not going to buy one.....
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
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Is it on the level?
Google announced gMail on April 1 and noone believed. this "weekend" spans April 1, so true or false?
Posted by qazwiz (208 comments )
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